Saudi critics jab Canada on Twitter and TV as diplomatic feud deepens

Saudi critics jab Canada on Twitter and TV as diplomatic feud deepens

It’s a country that regularly ranks among the best places to live, and is often lauded for its tolerance and quality of life. But this week, a very different view of Canada has been peddled online amid an escalating diplomatic row between the two countries. Soon after Saudi Arabia announced that Canada’s ambassador to the kingdom was now persona non grata, a surge of Saudi Twitter accounts began expressing concerns about Canada’s treatment of indigenous peoples. Others – using strikingly similar language – threw their support behind Quebec sovereignty, backing a sentiment that has faded in recent years. As Saudi officials criticised Canada for interference in its internal affairs, some lauded the kingdom’s restraint when it comes to Canadian issues. Saudi group posts photo of plane about to hit Toronto's CN tower amid Canada spat Read more “Saudi Arabia could have easily supported the 1995 Quebec independence referendum through the funding of media campaigns and attacks against the Canadian government to secure a Quebecan (sic) victory,” noted one tweet. Peterson responded to the report on Thursday, tweeting “Help! I’m being held prisoner in Canada,” before touting an upcoming visit to Saskatchewan to promote his book. The outlet also offered a detailed look at Canadian prisons, mixing in legitimate issues such as the excessive use of solitary confinement with the claim that, between 2015 and 2017, some 75% of prisoners in Canada died before their case. Meanwhile state-run media in Saudi Arabia said on Wednesday that the country had executed and “crucified” a man convicted of killing a woman and carrying out other crimes.

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Justin Trudeau said his government was engaging with Saudi Arabia to resolve the spat but stood firm on Canada’s stance.

It’s a country that regularly ranks among the best places to live, and is often lauded for its tolerance and quality of life. But this week, a very different view of Canada has been peddled online amid an escalating diplomatic row between the two countries.

Soon after Saudi Arabia announced that Canada’s ambassador to the kingdom was now persona non grata, a surge of Saudi Twitter accounts began expressing concerns about Canada’s treatment of indigenous peoples.

Others – using strikingly similar language – threw their support behind Quebec sovereignty, backing a sentiment that has faded in recent years.

As Saudi officials criticised Canada for interference in its internal affairs, some lauded the kingdom’s restraint when it comes to Canadian issues.

“Saudi Arabia could have easily supported the 1995 Quebec independence referendum through the funding of media campaigns and attacks against the Canadian government to secure a Quebecan (sic) victory,” noted one tweet. It added: “But we do not meddle in other nations’ domestic affairs, clearly, unlike Canada.”

The nationalistic fervour playing out online was laid bare after a Saudi organisation apologised for a tweet…

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